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Social Media Do's and Don'ts

Social media, when used wisely, can be a great way to build credibility, visibility and connections with others. When used carelessly, social media can quickly undermine your hard work, impair your relationships, and damage your reputation. 

As soon as you push publish, your update, photo, or comment is instantaneously replicated on many servers around the world, and can have long-term impact either positive or negative. That is why it is important to think before you post.

Below is a checklist of things to consider:    




Create a professional profile to connect with others for professional pursuits

Use this for casual interaction

Post contact information, using a professional email address and URL link

Use an inappropriate email address like

Build your connections.
Find people you know or who you want to know and reach out

Accept invitations from people you do not know

Participate in groups. Find your interests and join the discussion to get known and expand your network

Argue with others in discussions or make disparaging comments

Contribute to discussions. Give before you ask for something from others

Network just to ask for favors


Create a personal profile that represents your best self

Create a profile for shock effect

Keep your Facebook account for friends and family only. Tell professional colleagues that you will connect through LinkedIn

Mix personal and professional. It is better to play it safe from the start since it is hard to unfriend people without causing offense

Ask friends to check with you before tagging you in photos and do the same for them

Assume that a potential employer will not be able to find unflattering information about you on the internet

Post photos that align with your values and reflect your interests and character

Post any pictures you would be embarrassed to see on the front page of the paper

Maintain your privacy settings so that others cannot see what your connections post to your wall

Assume that these settings are 100% foolproof


Use Twitter for news items that relate to your professional or community interests

Use Twitter as a weapon or forum to inappropriately bash others

Be respectful

Post or re-tweet something in the heat of the moment that might be misconstrued


Monitor what is being said or posted about you. Create a Google alert with your first and last name in quotes and monitor this through a gmail account

Think that an employer, professor, community contact or anyone who you will be meeting with will not search you on the internet

Search your name in Google Images to ensure your privacy

Leave it to chance. There are many reputation management sites due to this very issue

If you have a blog, think about how it represents your thoughts and your ability to express yourself and your values

Get careless with what you blog about. Before you interview, review your posts